Newcastle: Howe now set for 'real issue' over £48m duo at St James' Park

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe on the touchline

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe is ‘going to have a real issue’ on his hands as he looks to keep Sven Botman and Dan Burn happy at St James’ Park, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The Magpies headed into the international break sitting 10th in the Premier League table, but Howe’s starting line-up against Bournemouth caused a stir.

GiveMeSport The Verdict
GiveMeSport The Verdict

What’s the latest news involving Botman and Burn?

Despite spending £35million to sign Botman from French side Lille during the summer transfer window, Howe opted to leave the Dutchman on the bench when Bournemouth headed to Tyneside last week.

The Magpies’ head coach has revealed he selected Burn to partner Fabian Schar at centre-half for the 1-1 draw because he felt his side needed his leadership qualities.

Burn, himself, only joined from Premier League rivals Brighton & Hove Albion for a fee of £13million during the closing stages of the winter window.

According to the Chronicle, Botman has reacted to the situation by pulling out of the Netherlands under-21 squad for the current international break.

The report suggests the 22-year-old, who has won 12 caps at that level, has opted to remain with his club due to wanting to exclusively concentrate on winning his place back at St James’ Park.

What has Keith Downie said about the duo?

Downie believes Howe has a problem on his hands as he looks to keep Botman and Burn onside in the coming weeks and months.

The Sky Sports reporter has doubts over whether the duo can play alongside each other at the heart of the defence, meaning one of them is likely to spend the majority of the season on the bench.

Downie told GIVEMESPORT: “I honestly think Eddie Howe, moving forward, is going to have a real issue with that.

“He has played Burn at left-back a couple of times and he’s coped pretty well, but I have to say I think Matt Targett’s a better left-back than him.

“I think there will probably come a time when he’s going to have to pick what his best two at the back is. I can’t see him playing Burn and Botman together, so it looks like it’s going to be Fabian Schar and one or the other.”

1 of 15
Shay Given - Newcastle

Which club did Shay Given start his professional career at?

How have Botman and Burn performed so far this season?

Statistics show Burn has been slightly more effective in aerial battles during the early stages of the Premier League campaign, with the 6 ft 7 man winning 2.3 contests per 90 minutes compared to Botman’s two.

Although Burn has averaged significantly more tackles, blocks and interceptions each fixture, Botman appears to be more comfortable on the ball and has a more successful pass completion rate.

However, with Howe suggesting the latter has an ‘outstanding’ future ahead of him, Burn may be the one to eventually drop out of Newcastle’s backline.

News Now - Sport News